Shanti Shunn Discusses Content Marketing at DDS 2015

We snuck in a fun interview with Vizion Interactive’s own Digital Marketing Strategist Shanti Shunn at the Dallas Digital Summit 2015. Shanti participated in a roundtable of digital marketing experts answering questions from the audience on the hot topic of “The Future of Content Marketing”.

Check out what Shanti has to say in the video below, on topics such as Content Marketing, Holistic SEO, and even a fun bonus topic at the end, so stay tuned!

Check out more interviews with the DDS 2015 digital marketing pros, on our blog:

Transcript of the interview:

Kristien: I’m Kristien, with Vizion Interactive here at the Dallas Digital Summit 2015 with Shanti Shunn, also with Vizion Interactive. Thanks for joining us.

Shanti: Nice to meet you again.

Kristien: So, Shanti just did a talk on content marketing. Can you tell us some of the key points from your talk earlier?

Shanti: I can. So, one of the key points that I brought up was that it’s really important to make sure your content is actually getting indexed. You know, there’s nothing worse than a story where the pieces don’t actually go together. And one of the things that when you build on your content, you know, you start with a foundational piece and then you’re continuing to expand that out. And what can happen is you may go back and start building that narrative, going back and linking down to the further parts of your additional content syndication and build out and expansion. And if you’re not getting the proper indexation, you’re not going to be able to get those additional pieces of that story told in a manner that really resonates with your audiences.

Kristien: Awesome. And is this kind of what you were talking about earlier with holistic approach to SEO?

Shanti: Well, a holistic approach to SEO, and marketing in general, is that you really need to make sure that your channels are actually working together. You know, none of your marketing is going to be fluid if it’s disjointed between channels. So you want to make sure you have a consistent message, you have a consistent stream of thought, and you want to make sure that you are continuing to engage those people based on their different types of personas to continue to engage them and build out and expand their knowledge of your brand, their affinity of your brand, and an understanding of what your brand brings to them and their business.

Kristien: Awesome. And how can we kind of incorporate marketing automation into our content marketing in a holistic way?

Shanti: So with marketing automation it becomes interesting because a lot of times it’s not going to go deep enough to make sure that it’s really automated in a fluid manner. There’s always some form of customization that’s going to come up, there’s always going to be something that you need to build on and expand on. And you really need to look at how that automation is working and make sure that the technology is fluid enough to be able to work together with what it is you’re trying to build. You need to make sure that that foundation is there and it works with that foundation to be able to make sure that it’s really playing together well. Otherwise you end up with a broken experience and a broken experience is a bad experience.

Kristien: True. So, going forward into 2016, what are your predictions?

Shanti: In 2016 I see, you know, obviously content marketing is the buzz right now. You know, it’s really taking a look at that whole life cycle of content and how you expand and build that out. It’s taking a look at things like, you know, how is my story told, and who is that story relevant to? You know, you need to be able to build that out and make sure that that has a, again, I’m going to say it again, a fluid approach. You want to make sure that it’s continuing on. And in 2016 I think there’s, you know, as we can always expect, there’s going to be different changes within the search engines, or there are going to be algorithmic changes for paid search, and all of these other channels. There’s going to be a different way to approach your affiliates, you’re going to continue to have to manage who are those affiliates, you know, whether your business is playing within comparison shopping and so on, you know?

There’s always an evolution, and sometimes you’re chasing that evolution, sometimes you’re reacting to that evolution. And it’s a matter of being able to stay on top of it, make sure your people have the experience and knowledge to continue on with that. At the end of the day, it’s really making sure that your people in your organization can support what’s going to happen. And what I always hope, and I would say this almost every year, is that organizations are supporting their people to make sure that they’re building that out and that that education is part of the forefront of understanding where your customers are and how your employees understand where that evolution needs to come from.

Kristien: Great. And we have one final bonus question, from one of our viewers out there. So, from panda to penguin, how disappointed were you when the Cubs didn’t make it to the World Series?

Shanti: I was fairly disappointed, and I’ll show my Cubs hat. Essentially, you know, it wasn’t really so much disappointment. I mean they made it to the postseason, they performed strong, they made it past the wildcard. You know, they did really well. And they’re a young team, I mean a good chunk of the team are rookies. So when you’re talking about, you know, and this again comes down to your marketing, you know, if you have a lot of rookies on your team and you’re not supporting those rookies and growing those rookies, it’s not going to help your team perform. And the Cubs did really well at growing their rookies, even the ones that they brought up in the last months of the season. Essentially, you know, if you look at that as your business model and say, “Am I supporting my employees, am I making sure those employees are growing, and are my rookies stepping up and becoming a core part of my team?”

Kristien: That was a very diplomatic response. I didn’t see any emotion from you. So how disappointed were you?

Shanti: Well, I got to eat pizza in Wrigleyville. I got to take a picture in front of the marque before they took it down. I still went to Chicago. I had all the hopes and dreams of 108 years of not winning a World Series. And my wife, being the larger Cubs fan in my family, even she was happy about where they made it, how they made it, and she’s looking forward to next season.

Kristien: Sounds like a good experience.

Shanti: It’s a bonding experience in my house.

Kristien: Thanks, Shanti.

Shanti: You’re welcome.